YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – “I’m as excited right now as I have ever been coaching,” said Valley Christian Head Coach Andy Hake. “You’re going to get the best of me, and you’re going to get the best of these kids.”
Hake returns the sidelines this fall as the Eagle’s new head coach. He has the team training at the old South High stadium and lifting outside in a makeshift weight room under the bleachers. It’s within these crumbling walls that Hake hopes to rebuild the program.
“If they just keep getting better and we can really form a team and not just shallow words but a real team,” Hake said. “If we can form that, we have no ceiling. We have the ability to do it. We have the hitters to do it. Guys just got to believe.”
Valley Christian certainly has the talent. They return 16 starters and will look for their defense to set the tone.
“We’re going to hit. When the ball is snapped we’re going to hit viciously,” Hake said. “We’re going to go after people. And when the whistle blows and the plays over, we’re going to be good sportsman.”
“We’re going to hit,” said senior lineman Philip Chandler-Cox. “We have to because if we don’t there’s going to be a lot of broken tackles and I don’t like that. I want us to go out there and hit and show what we got and have the other teams scared of us.”
“We got a lot of returning guys,” said senior quarterback Joey Battista. “I feel like we’re all ready this year, new coach that pushes us a lot harder.”
“I don’t think no one can stop us,” said senior tailback Cameron Davenport. “If we just keep working hard I don’t think nobody can beat us.”
“After being out a year, I’m as gunned up as I’ve ever been. I’m just blessed for the opportunity to be at this place, not just coaching, but being at this place because this place cares,” Hake said. “They care about the kids and they want us to coach the kids hard, but they want us to instill the Christian values in them. So we’re going to keep it simple. God, family, grades, football, and we’re going to go from there.”